Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Other things that happened in October

Because our lives have been crazy busy the last little while--you wouldn't believe the hours Schmoopsie has put in on the road for work recently!--I haven't gotten around to blogging all kinds of cute things that happened last month. 

One night after Paddy finished up with his work and before I hurried off to my job (split shift workers! Can I get a hey-ohh for the magic of the kid hand-off?) we took the kids to a local pumpkin patch to choose some gourds for the season. Let's not talk about whether those gourds possibly stayed in our garage and never once got decorated and/or carved all month long, or whether they might be sitting in that same garage yea even at this very hour, mmmmkay? I know. Bad parents.

Things at the patch started out pretty cute.


And then they sort of deteriorated a little. YOU KNOW.

In my defense, at least one of the days we spent NOT carving our pumpkins was spent hunting for witches at Gardner Village. We've hit up the scavenger hunt three years running now, and this year was definitely the most fun for Mister Baggins. (Although, to be fair, the first year he was floating around in utero, so maybe that one was pretty great. I don't know.)




Remember when the kids tried on those hats last year? Mister was still wearing footie outfits!


And then, almost as soon as we got home from Disneyland, it was Halloween! Bug had debated for a couple of weeks over which of her two red-headed princess idols she'd be dressing up as, but ultimately ditched Brave in honor of Ariel. MJ and I worked long and hard to achieve that famous mermaid hair swoosh in the front. I'm pretty sure the polygamist women in southern Utah must have pantries full of aerosol hairspray in order to achieve this look with such ease.


Because I am THAT MOM, I made Mister dress as a lobster to coordinate with her outfit. Yep. THAT MOM.


Maybe coordinating outfits are a bit obnoxious, I know, but just LOOK HOW CUTE! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Happiest Place on Earth

So here's the thing. We took our kiddos to Disneyland 2 weeks ago and I haven't blogged about. I don't even have a good excuse.

Grammy Lu had mentioned taking advantage of her flight benefits and scooting to Disneyland for the day for a couple of months, but we didn't have any concrete plans to go. With the holidays fast approaching (what in the NOVEMBER ALREADY?!) and Paddy's INSANE end of the year work schedule, I had pretty much figured we wouldn't be able to squeeze anything in until at least early 2014.

And then, with about 10 days advance warning, Grammy and Bunk asked if we wanted to crash their romantic weekend getaway to Las Vegas, where my dad was dragging Lalli to see his man-crush Mark Knopfler in concert. (Hey, Dad! I spelled Knopfler right on the first try! Who's your favorite kid NOW?)(Take that, MJ.) The timing was perfect, since we'd be celebrating Bug's 4th birthday on the trip. As soon as I could make work arrangements, Grammy Lu and Bunk grabbed a park ticket package at Costco and checked flights out of Las Vegas to California. How great are they?

(Grammy was the designated potty companion for Bug for the entire trip, no exceptions, as per the birthday girl's demands. So the answer here is: REALLY GREAT.) 

So guess what? We did it! We drove to Las Vegas, picking Paddy up from a work trip to Mesquite on the way, and the next morning hopped a nearly empty JetBlue flight to Long Beach. We stopped at our favorite greasy diner for breakfast, and then loaded in the rental minivan (secret: I want one) to talk about the rest of the day.

And here is where you get to see the first video I've ever posted on the blog. Ready for your daily dose of happy? This is the moment we told Bug where we were going for her big birthday adventure. Wait for it, trust me, because when she finally gets it, it's AWESOME. The giggles start around the 1 minute mark, but the real magic hits at 01:58.

video

Excitement achieved, we dashed over to the park pretty quick, and immediately jumped in line at Jungle Cruise along with EVERY OTHER PERSON ON PLANET EARTH. 



After the serious error in judgement that resulted in a 45 minute wait for that first ride, we hit the Disney app and enjoyed reasonable lines for the rest of the day.


Making spooky faces before Haunted Mansion




 





For reasons she really can't explain, Bug was terrified of the human characters, but not the giant stuffed ones.

After a great day meeting characters and riding all kinds of rides (quick recap: Bug loved Dumbo, HATED getting wet on Splash Mountain, liked Pirates- which is Mama's favorite) we headed to Goofy's Kitchen for dinner with the characters. Grammy and Bunk scored these tickets as part of a Costco travel package, and to be honest, I thought it was sort of a frivolous extra. 

Let me be the first to admit this: NO ONE DOES HOSPITALITY LIKE DISNEY. The food was delicious, and the whole experience was--ready your gag reflexes now--kind of magical. 

Translation: I cried when my son hugged a chipmunk.




In short, the dinner--the whole day, really--was amazing. It was the fastest Disney trip in the world, and we had more fun than I ever could have hoped for. Thank you, Grammy Lu and Bunk for such an amazing surprise!

Happy 4th birthday, Princess. I love you.
 I hope it was magical.